Vilas Board Passes Forest Certification After Much Debate
After months of committee debate, the Vilas County board of supervisors approved on a split 14-7 vote a commitment to manage the 40,000 acre county forest in the Forest Stewardship Council certification system and manage the county forest consistent with those standards.
This system, along with existing sustainable forest initiative program, is in response to industries that market worldwide and customers seeking paper from certified wood of which two major ones are McDonalds and Coke.
Vilas County forest administrator John Gagnon indicated this will help the softwood market and loggers being able to move cut timber but not all supervisors agreed. Jay Verhulst felt it was a marketing scheme and didn't want foreign governments telling us how to manage our forest and Kim Simac didn't like Greenpeace involvement and the strings attached.
Supervisor Carolyn Ritter felt if Coke and McDonalds want packaging made from certified wood we should give it to them while Supervisor Erv Teichmiller felt there was no reason we shouldn't manage the county forest in a respectable way.